Suspected Cathedral Arsonist Indicted - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

12/04/03

Suspected Cathedral Arsonist Indicted

A Marietta man has been indicted in the fire that damaged Savannah's Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. Yesterday, grand jurors cited 31-year-old Stuart Vincent Smith on seven charges related to the fire and resulting standoff that took place at the famous landmark on October 7.

Police say Smith walked into the cathedral carrying a gun and a can of lighter fluid. They say he set fire to the bishop's chair and the pulpit after threatening and assaulting a priest and a church volunteer. Smith was arrested by the police emergency response team.

Yesterday, the jury cited him on charges of arson, vandalism, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and carrying a deadly weapon to a public gathering. Smith remains in the Chatham County jail without bond.

Reported by: Steven Shoob, sshoob@wtoc.com

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